My new VT KnowledgeWorks company doesn’t feature amazing inventions like Portaqua’s portable water purification system, TORC’s autonomous vehicle, Schultz-Creehan’s friction stir fabrication, or Attaain’s competitive intelligence software.
So I felt a little shy when I went to visit Michele Mayberry, intellectual property attorney and partner with Latimer, Mayberry & Matthews IP Law, LLP. Her areas of specialty include chemistry, biotechnology, and, yikes, the awing “molecular diagnostics.”
But consultation with an intellectual property attorney is on the to-do list for new VT KnowledgeWorks companies, so I summoned my courage, trusted the process, and found Building X in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center (only after running into the VTKW office desperate for directions and being rescued by Director Jim Flowers who very kindly—if you know Jim, you’ll know what’s coming next–drew me a map on his whiteboard).
Michele Mayberry has a lovely, quiet confidence about her, so I found myself blurting out what was on my mind.
“Why am I here?”
(Am I having an existential crisis? I asked LeClairRyan attorney Peer Segelke, "Who am I?")
Michele told me I needed to think about these aspects of intellectual property law: 1) trademarks to cover the branding of my company’s name and products; 2) copyrights covering works of art (I knew about writing and visual arts, but who knew software is considered an art? It’s good to know Michele), and 3) patents for my inventions.
After I explained my idea to her, Michele noted that my new company’s first product would likely establish good will and that someone might want to use that good will and create a similar product with the same name. She suggested a trademark.
I thought of the passion and care and time and thought I’ve given to the creation of my new company. I thought of how betrayed, even defeated, I would feel if someone took it from me. And that name took many meal times of many patient family members and friends to discover.
A trademark? I gotta have that.
Apparently, I ought to have completed that component of business formation before I launched my site.
Apparently, one visits the United States Patent and Trademark Office, uses the search feature, and finds out beforehand whether or not the name is available.
Whew. That’s all I have to say about that.
Apparently, also, one can apply online in a do-it-yourself fashion.
Did I mention I thought I could do-it-yourself with technology stocks in the late 90s? I learned the limits of my expertise and the expanse of my hubris in a very costly way.
The Accelerated Entrepreneur is committed to the success of her business.
Blog Diva measures the costs of things in pairs of shoes. Professional services to accelerated entrepreneurs can equal a pair or two or three. Blog Diva knows when to choose help over heels. However, she is looking forward to being a successfully launched Accelerated Entrepreneur. Then she can go tip-tipping along in brand new shoes, preferably pink.
Let’s see. For a trademark, Michele says I need a .jpg of my product’s name and design, known as its mark, dpi 300-350, pixel dimensions between 250 and 944 for length and width, so anywhere from 250 x 250 to 944 x 944, and a screen shot of the new site documenting the name’s use in commerce.
I think I know someone who can help me with that…
Latimer, Mayberry & Matthews IP Law, LLP offers legal services exclusively in the area of Intellectual Property law with an emphasis on U.S. patent and trademark law. Latimer, Mayberry & Matthews IP Law, LLP, is a corporate sponsor of business accelerator VT KnowledgeWorks.